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Press Release

Eric Sloss

For immediate release:
July 25, 2005

Carnegie Mellon Students in Piano Preparatory Program Win at World Piano Competition

PITTSBURGH—Students in the piano preparatory program at Carnegie Mellon University's Music Preparatory School won two grand prizes, three gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals at the American Music Scholarship Association's 2005 World Piano Competition, which was held June 30-July 9 at the Aronoff Center for the Arts in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Winning the competition is quite an honor as only 150 contestants representing 18 countries were invited to play at the 46th World Piano Competition's headquarters at the Aronoff Center for the Arts.

According to Hanna W. Li, professor of piano and piano pedagogy and director of the Piano Preparatory Program at Carnegie Mellon, the competition was particularly difficult this year. She said, "This competition draws out the best in both the students and teachers. This year, we were very happy to win two grand prizes. All the winners began their piano studies at Carnegie Mellon through the Beginning Piano Class and continued their education in the Preparatory Program. The quality that develops in the Beginning Piano Class and the Preparatory Program are excellent practicum for our piano majors in the School of Music here at Carnegie Mellon."

The students from Carnegie Mellon competed in the Young Artist Division (ages 5-17). The Young Artist Division is part of the Junior Ambassador Program in which children from Cincinnati have the opportunity to interact with children their age from around the world during the World Piano Competition.

The international panel of judges representing six countries included Tigran Alikhanov, head of the Moscow Conservatory, and Hae Soo Chun, Larissa Dedova, Oksoo Han, Yuriko Hirama and Barry Snyder from the Eastman School of Music. Besides awarding cash prizes, all winners will have the opportunity to perform at the Queen City Club, Lincoln Center, United Nations and Carnegie Hall in New York October 22.

The Young Artist Division Winners included: Level 5, Gold Medal and Grand Prize winner Joy Hou, age 11 from Venetia, Pa.; Level 3, Gold Medal and Grand Prize winner Tara Lee, age 9 from Murrysville, Pa.; Level 2, Gold Medal winner Angela Zhang, age 8 from Mars, Pa.; Level 6, Silver Medal winner Meiqin (Melissa) Zhou, age 11 from Pittsburgh; Level 5, Silver Medal winner Michelle (Sunjoo) Lee, age 11 from Wexford, Pa.; Level 3, Silver Medal winner Jessica (Sophie) Lin, age 9 from Pittsburgh; Level 5, Bronze Medal winner Stephanie Guo, age 11 from Pittsburgh; Level 11-Solo, Bronze Medal winner Jingnan Hou, age 16 from Venetia, Pa.

The School of Music is one of the nation's most distinguished degree-granting music conservatory programs and is one of five schools within Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts. The College of Fine Arts is a community of nationally and internationally recognized artists and professionals organized into: Architecture, Art, Design, Drama and Music and their associated centers and programs.

For more information about the Music Preparatory School at Carnegie Mellon, contact Jennifer Neslund at 412-268-3667. For more information on the School of Music or the College of Fine Arts contact Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765, or by email at or visit


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